ASPIRE - Support the astronomers of the future!

Closed You can't donate or start fundraising anymore

 This year, the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API) celebrates its 100th anniversary. To mark this occasion, the institute and the Amsterdam University Fund (AUF) would like to bring a special project to your attention: ASPIRE.

ASPIRE, Astrophysics Summer Programme for International Research Experience, is a summer programme for promising physics or astronomy students from all over the world. It focuses mainly on students who face extra challenges pursuing a career in academic research.

The success of the renowned Anton Pannekoek Institute stems from the diversity of its researchers, whose unique personalities, backgrounds, cultures and talents are crucial to innovative research. Therefore, ASPIRE aims to encourage students to pursue their academic dreams, regardless of their gender, cultural or socio-economic background.

The AUF and API are working together to raise funds for students who cannot finance their participation themselves. A scholarship for one student amounts to approximately 5000 euros. All contributions, large or small, are welcome.

Give talent a chance. Support the astronomers of the future!

On behalf of the students, we thank you for your contribution.

The Anton Pannekoek Institute

The Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy is one of eight research institutes in the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam. The institute is home to about 90 employees: 15 staff members, 65 PhD students and postdocs and 10 supporting staff members.

The Anton Pannekoek Institute (API) furthers research, teaching, and public understanding of astronomy. It conducts astronomical research and trains astronomers from bachelor to postdoctoral level, aiming to be world-leading level in its activities.

 Want to know more? Visit our website.

The first edition of ASPIRE took place in 2019. Eight students from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Kenya, Pakistan, Venezuela and Zambia were invited to the research programme in Amsterdam. Read about the experiences of some of the participants below:

"I am Sara Zahoor, a graduate student from National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan. In my country, people are doing some amazing scientific research but unfortunately when it comes to Astronomy, we do not have any technological facilities, especially for observations. So this field did not attain as much attention compared to other research areas. So for me, who grew up aspiring to become an "Astronomer" one day and whose only source of information was the internet, popular science books and documentaries - being an intern in ASPIRE program at API (Anton Pannekoek Institute at University of Amsterdam) is like having a dream come true."  Sara Zahoor

"Hello! My name is Chileshe, a Physics and Geology graduate from the University of Zambia. I am passionate about science, learning and sharing knowledge. My first brush with astronomy was the development in Africa with Radio Astronomy basic training that consists of four units which covered the general concepts and a introduction to the theory and technical aspects. Little did I know this was the beginning of my radio astronomy journey. One of my first thoughts was "so much could be achieved with this and used in several meaningful ways to make an impact in our day to day lives". After, I knew I wanted to learn more and naturally the ASPIRE summer school seemed to be one of the best opportunities to do this. Apart from ASPIREs completely unique approach, tailored projects and supervisors to go with. A science filled summer in one of the most beautiful back drops the Netherlands has to offer was a choice I gladly made." 
Chilese Mutale

"Hi! My name is Thallis Pessi and I am a Master student at Universidade Federal de Santa Maria (UFSM), in Brazil. After two and a half months living in Amsterdam and being part of the academic life of API, I can feel now how lucky I was in being an ASPIRE student and how it has changed my personal views on astronomy and on academic life in general. My original background is in physics, but I knew that astronomy was the path I wanted to follow since the first year of my bachelor course, when got in touch with the work done by the Astrophysics Group at UFSM.
The vibrant atmosphere at API was the complete opposite of what I have ever seen and lived. With talks, colloquia and seminars every day, given by people from the most important groups from all around the world, I could feel for the first time how it is to be part in such a big institute.
 Thallis Pessi 

Want to read more about their experienes? Read the blog here.                                                                                                                


Where does my donation go to?
All donations will go to the Amsterdam University Fund and will fully benefit scholarships for participants of the ASPIRE programme. The Anton Pannekoek Institute and the Amsterdam University Fund will make sure that all donations are allocated correctly.

What is the Amsterdam University Fund (AUF)?
The Amsterdam University Fund is the independent support foundation of the University of Amsterdam. The fund is recognised as a charity by the Central Bureau for Fundraising and has been declared a Public Benefit Organization (ANBI) by the Dutch tax authorities. Go to for more information.

Is my donation to the Amsterdam University Fund tax deductible?
Yes, donations are tax deductible from income or corporate tax. This also applies to donations via crowdfunding. Click here for more information.

View all
05-06-2021 | 09:53 Was erg onder de indruk van het programma Kijk op het Heelal van vrijdag 4 juni
05-06-2021 | 01:23 Working with such a talented group of students from all over the world is a great joy - to them and to us.
04-06-2021 | 21:12 ik gun iedereen een kans op ontwikkeling
04-06-2021 | 21:11
04-06-2021 | 21:10 Mooi doel.